Graveyard Shift

'Fallout 76' Creatures Inspired By West Virginian Myths and Legends  

Eric Vega
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The world of Fallout has always been populated with horrific monsters, diseased mutants, and creatures of myth. These beasts make you think twice about wandering the wastelands unarmed, as any seemingly innocuous farm or canyon could be a breeding ground for vicious Deathclaws or flesh-hungry ghouls. 

Fallout 76 is no exception, as the mountains of Appalachia are teeming with new and terrifying creatures that have never before been featured in a Fallout game. It drops players into the middle of post-apocalyptic West Virginia just 25 years after a nuclear Armageddon destroyed most of humanity. This means there aren't any humans alive to do battle with (excluding other players), so developers added in slew of new monsters to give players enemies to fight against. 

Bethesda put a lot of work into creating Fallout 76, and many of the featured creatures are based on real-life West-Virginian myths and legends. Players can expect to run into harrowed Appalachian cryptids like the Mothman, the Beast of Grafton, and the Flatwoods Monster. If you recall the creepy vaults from past Fallout games, it's important to remember those places were actually sheltered from the worst effects of the nuclear apocalypse. Out in the wastes, things got so much worse. 

Mothman
Mothman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 'Fallout 76' Creatures Inspired By West Virginian Myths and Legends
Photo:  Bethesda

November 12, 1966 is an unforgettable date for many West Virginians, as it's synonymous with the first sighting of the Mothman, a West Virginia monster that's become one of the most famous American cryptids of all time. Five men in Point Pleasant claimed to have seen a brown, winged creature fly over their heads as they dug a grave in a local cemetery.

The story spread like wildfire, and the Mothman became an unofficial symbol of Point Pleasant. There have been countless supposed sightings of the creature around West Virginia, with most occurring in Point Pleasant. There's even a statue of the creature outside the local Mothman Museum, which features regional stories as well as props from the film Mothman Chronicles. Every year, fans of the winged cryptid converge on Point Pleasant for the annual Mothman Festival

Beast Of Grafton
Beast Of Grafton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 'Fallout 76' Creatures Inspired By West Virginian Myths and Legends
Photo:  Bethesda

Residing in the hillsides of Grafton, WV, the Beast of Grafton (or Grafton Monster) is said to be a near-headless creature standing a monstrous nine feet in height. The first sighting of the monster occurred on June 16, 1964, and was followed by numerous similar encounters throughout the month. The calamity around the supposed sightings led to a town-wide monster hunt, with people pouring into the woods surrounding Grafton for a chance to glimpse the mythical creature.

One of the most credible sightings came from Robert Cockrell, a local reporter who claimed to have seen the monster on his drive home. No physical evidence was ever found, but there are still those who believe the Beast of Grafton is out there somewhere. 

Flatwoods Monster
Flatwoods Monster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 'Fallout 76' Creatures Inspired By West Virginian Myths and Legends
Photo:  Bethesda

The Flatwoods Monster was first sighted on September 12, 1952, and the date has stuck with Flatwoods's residents ever since. Believed to be an alien creature, the Flatwoods Monster is said to be accompanied by a foul odor than can be smelled a good distance away. It's often described as greenish in hue with large glowing eyes. The original sighting was followed by an official US Air Force UFO inquiry; although it's considered nothing but a myth today, the monster was initially taken very seriously.

The primary sighting involved six young boys, their dog, and a mother who was accompanying them. They described the monster as having a green face, red body, and glowing eyes. It was said to be 10-feet tall, and it peered down on the boys from up in the treetops. 

Snallygaster
Snallygaster is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 'Fallout 76' Creatures Inspired By West Virginian Myths and Legends
Photo:  Bethesda

While the humorously named Snallygaster appears in Fallout 76, the creature's in-game design varies greatly from the description of the beast in local folklore. Legends depict the Snallygaster as a winged, reptilian monster that falls somewhere between a bird and a dragon in appearance.

While its name might sound goofy, it's actually derived from the German phrase Schneller Geist, meaning "quick spirit". The creature is believed to be vampiric in nature, sucking the blood from its victims through its sharp beak. While stories about the Snallygaster date back to the 1700s, there was a notable uptick in sightings beginning around 1909. In the early 20th century, rumors about the beast were so widespread even Theodore Roosevelt reportedly considered tracking it down.